Tokyo is an ugly city. Sure, it may not suffer from the smog of Mexico City, be blighted by Johannesburg-style shantytowns or possess Houston’s plate-glass vacuity. Nonetheless, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, World War II bombing and subsequent construction booms have combined to obliterate the “Garden City” that was Edo, and strip modern Tokyo of the historical character and scenic splendor that conventionally define a beautiful city.

Besides being ugly, Tokyo is also chaotic. However, the high-density jumble of building styles, sizes, ages and functions that make up the metropolis is also what makes it so fascinating.

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